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Soul Flame by Barbara Wood
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Soul Flame

by Barbara Wood

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I wasn't really sure which genre to assign this novel to. It's not straight historical fiction; I consider it historical fantasy. There is a certain amount of romance, but nothing tasteless. The story is that of the healer Selene. From Palmyra she travels to Antioch, Persia, Babylon, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and finally Rome where she meets her destiny. In the novel she is enslaved for awhile, then escapes. She reunites with her sweetheart of years before, the surgeon Andreas; they had been separated by someone else's lie. In her travels, Selene notes medical practices everywhere she goes. Finally, the two attempt to build a hospital, despite obstacles and sabotage ordered by the evil empress Agrippina.

This book was quick reading. Characters seemed one-dimensional. It was too sentimental. The history I felt was poor, e.g., introducing characters from India. But anything medical was fascinating; I felt the author was on surer ground there. ( )
  janerawoof | Oct 30, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0595433340, Paperback)

“Barbara Wood is an entertainer.”
Washington Post Book World

Acclaimed novelist Barbara Wood combines her superb storytelling gifts with medical and historic fact to create the epic adventure of an unusual and gifted young woman seeking her destiny in the ancient healing arts.

Born into the tumultuous world of ancient Antioch, Selene is orphaned at birth. But before her father dies, he leaves a puzzling clue to her heritage: she has come from the gods and has a special destiny to fulfill.

In the coming years, Selene studies the primitive healing arts with Mera, the healer-woman who adopts her. She learns how to lower fevers by brewing Hecate’s Cure from the willow tree, how to apply green mold to an open wound to prevent infection, and most importantly, how to calm a patient by summoning the inner power of the “soul flame.”

But on her sixteenth birthday, Selene falls in love with Andreas, a passionate and troubled surgeon. When fate cruelly separates them, Selene’s search for Andreas takes her to the great centers of civilization in the ancient world—Egypt, Babylon, and Rome. Desperate to find Andreas, Selene is torn between love and her dreams of healing when a revolutionary vision brings her to the fulfillment of her destiny—and the dawn of modern medicine.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Apr 2015 21:34:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Map on lining papers. Orphaned at birth in ancient Antioch, Selene learns the healing arts from a healer-woman. Everywhere she goes, she learns more about healing and then a vision brings her to the fulfillment of her destiny.

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